Choosing a Swedish vallhund

Choosing a Swedish vallhund

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The Swedish vallhund is a spitz breed hailing from Sweden. Known as the “little Viking dog” this breed is a great family pet and working dog and is the newest member of the American Kennel Club family.

History and Origin

The Swedish vallhund is an ancient breed, possibly over 1000 years old. Originally bred to work on farms and herd cattle, the breed was quite popular before World War I but was almost non-existent in the early 1940s. At that time, a concerted effort was made to save the breed and their number quickly grew and by 1943, the breed was recognized by the Swedish Kennel Club. The majority of the breed revival occurred in the town of Vastergotland, giving the breed its other name of vastgotaspet. By 1974, the Swedish vallhund was brought to England and in 1984 found his way to the United States.

The Swedish vallhund became eligible for American Kennel Club registration on March 1, 2007 and may compete in the Herding Group at shows held on and after June 27, 2007

Appearance and Size

The Swedish vallhund is a stocky dog with a fox-like appearance. On first impression, the breed looks similar to a Pembroke Welsh corgi. The head is wedge shaped with a long muzzle and erect ears. The neck of the Swedish vallhund is long and the legs are short but powerful. The tail can be long, bob or docked.

The coat of the Swedish vallhund is medium in length and coarse with a soft undercoat. The coat color can be grey, red yellow, red brown or grey brown with harness markings. A small amount of white is acceptable.

The adult Swedish vallhund stands 12 to 16 inches at the shoulder and weighs 25 to 35 pounds.


The Swedish vallhund is an intelligent and friendly dog with natural herding instincts. He loves to be the center of attention and some are quite the little show-off! The breed is known for being courageous, loving and friendly and can do well as a family pet or as a working dog. The Swedish vallhund is protective of his family and wary of strangers. Some dogs can bark a lot.

Home and Family Relations

The Swedish vallhund is an affectionate and loyal family pet that thrives on human companionship and lots of activity. The breed is excellent around older children. As a herding breed, the Swedish vallhund may try to herd small children during playtime. He can get along with other family pets if raised with them but some may display same sex aggression, especially if not neutered or spayed. This breed prefers to live in a home with a large yard and an active family but may do okay in an apartment if taken on long frequent walks.


The Swedish vallhund is an intelligent breed that loves to learn. He can be trained in obedience, agility and tracking and enjoys having a job to do.

Special Care

The Swedish vallhund needs lots of exercise and plenty to do or he may find unacceptable ways to alleviate his boredom. The Swedish vallhund needs lots of socialization early in life to prevent shyness or aggression.

Common Diseases and Disorders

In general, the Swedish vallhund is a healthy dog with few medical concerns.

The life span of the Swedish vallhund is 12 to 14 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.

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